The recent increase in remote working and video conferencing has put more pressure than ever before on the humble PowerPoint presentation. As people share their screens to show off a presentation, the pressure is on to not just get the message across, but do so in a professional and attractive fashion.

Whether you need to brush up on your PowerPoint skills, or are just looking for a few pointers to stand out from the crowd, take a look at our top 5 tips for making your presentations shine.

1. Create a custom template

All businesses have their own style and overall look they want to convey to customers and partners alike – so what better way to illustrate this than with a custom PowerPoint template? Spending a little time getting the colours, logos, fonts and imagery just right will ensure everything aligns with your brand image. It also has the added benefit of making future presentations feel part of a set.

2. Format images

Another aspect to factor into house style is image formatting. If you want to keep everything formal or minimal then a simple rectangle will suffice. However, simply rounding the edges or adding a faint shadow can provide depth that people may not notice explicitly, but which leaves your presentations looking that little bit richer.

3. Combine shapes

Whilst the shapes function on PowerPoint allows you to drop in small vector graphics, the stock selection isn’t the most inspiring. You can get around this, however, by combining two or more together. Get creative and spend some time laying shapes on top of one another to create something unique to you.

4. Create a custom animation

Animations and transitions provide a way to keep people’s attention as you move through a presentation. However, anyone who’s seen more than a few PowerPoints in their time will be familiar with the stock bank. Change it up by creating one of your own, to stand out from the point-and-click crowd.

5. Use the zoom feature

Now, this isn’t about the video conferencing software you’re using, but instead the zoom feature on PowerPoint itself. Clicking the magnifying glass allows you to zone in on certain aspects of your slide for greater scrutiny. So if you want to show off an image detail, or go into a graph or chart in greater depth, this is the tool for you.

These are five easy-to-make tweaks that could have a huge impact on your future presentations – and ensure you stand out in an increasingly busy marketplace.